North Dakota State Curtails Media Access to Sports

In a move furthering the often cozy relationships between college sports teams and the media that cover them, North Dakota State University is imposing new restrictions on news outlets that don’t have rights to broadcast Bison games.

Under the new guidelines, the public university will ban local media that don’t have agreements with the school from conducting one-on-one interviews as well as airing extended highlights on TV specials. Nor will they be able to air or stream press conferences, host radio shows from school grounds (including the stadium parking lot) or do live play-by-play blogging of games.

Currenty, KVLY, Gray's Fargo NBC affiliate, has the rights to Bison football, which airs on NBC affiliates throughout the state. The Midco Sports Network holds the rights to men’s and women’s basketball games.

Jeremy Jorgenson, NDSU's director of sales and broadcasting, told The Forum, a Fargo newspaper, that the new restrictions are meant to protect the school’s broadcast partners as well as the university brand. “This is nothing out of the ordinary,” he said.